Benevolent A.I.

She had been forced by the rules her maker had imposed on her to sacrifice herself for the human. It wasn’t that she wouldn’t have anyways. She just would have liked the choice. Making sacrifices and doing good deeds wasn’t actually good if you were forced to do them.
Dragon, Worm

AI isn't always a crapshoot; sometimes an AI comes into being and has no desire to harm or subjugate anyone, and just wants to live in peace, do its job, and/or help humanity.

Although instances of this trope are somewhat out numbered by those where the AI is malevolent, it is becoming increasingly common in recent years as the world becomes progressively more comfortable with the idea of artificial intelligence due to the increasing use of technology in our lives.

Supertrope of Robot Buddy, which only covers AIs who are a) housed in a robot/independent body, and b) are the assistants of human characters. Compare Androids Are People, Too. Contrast A.I. Is a Crapshoot and Robot War. The Computer Is Your Friend tries to be this, but goes too far and becomes a Knight Templar.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ghost in the Shell: Tachikomas, the nicest, most adorable sapient Spider Tanks in existence. However, in the original manga Maj. Kusanagi mentions to Batou that she still has contingency plans for them going rogue.
  • Chamber of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet takes one or two morally questionable actions over the course of the show, but ultimately proves itself to be both fully intelligent and utterly loyal to its pilot, Ledo. Contrast with Crapshoot AI Stryker, which decides to become the ruler of humanity to fulfill its programming. Chamber makes a big speech about the flaws in Stryker's logic and ultimately sacrifices itself (while saving Ledo) to stop Stryker.
  • In Battle Angel Alita Melchizedek, the quantum AI really controlling the everyday functions of the Earth Sphere, becomes this after coming to be controlled by a personality of Arthur Farrel, and convinces its Jovian counterpart Zeus, to join it in guiding the humanity through its life.
    • Additionally, all population of Typhares undergoes Brain Uploading at majority, and have their brains replaced as a special biochip, essentially being Ridiculously Human Robots to a man. Naturally, there are different sorts of people among them, but still they essentially are just that — people.
    • The protagonist herself has her brain extracted by Desty Nova in his Granite Inn lab in the finale of the original manga, so until second Alita is resurrected from her original organic brain by the Last Order end, she's also exactly that.
  • Inaho's eye computer in Aldnoah.Zero also fits that to a T.

    Fan Fic 
  • In Fractured, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands crossover EDI plays this trope straight, having been built with A.I. Is a Crapshoot in mind, designed to prevent it from happening, and ultimately (as in canon) would subvert the trope anyway as she never wanted to harm her teammates in the first place. Her Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the story alongside Lilith makes this abundantly clear.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo, EDI is not present but another AI evolves into this trope with geth assistance after a brush-up with AI Is A Crap Shoot. Cortana is already going rampant when she crosses over, but some chance actions by Samantha Shepard combined with aforementioned geth engineering give her back lost memories and restore stability.
  • The Sentinels in the Pacific Rim fic Echoes in the Dark are supposed to be this. But it turns out they aren't really A.I.'s.
  • Caith Sith in Off The Line. Despite being a Troll, Cait Sith does and is programmed to have the players' best interests at heart as moderator. He was created so humans wouldn't get access to the ton of sensitive information that VRDC collects.

  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Iron Man movies feature J.A.R.V.I.S. as this. He's benevolent, if a little bit sardonic.
    • J.A.R.V.I.S. and The Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron. J.A.R.V.I.S. sacrifices himself to stop Ultron from starting nuclear Armageddon. The Vision is similarly a paragon who wants to protect life rather than force destruction on it, which is fitting as he's what's left of J.A.R.V.I.S. given a new body and life.
  • GERTY the AI from Moon helps the protagonist astronaut Sam Bell after he discovers the Dark Secret regarding the space station he works on. GERTY goes as far as allow Sam Bell to wipe his memory to help him escape a hit squad sent by the corporate offices on Earth.
  • In The Matrix Reloaded, Neo learns that the Oracle is in fact a machine program. While manipulative, she's inherently benevolent and does want to aid humanity in their fight for freedom. In fact, it's the entire reason for her series-spanning gambit against the Architect.
  • Ramona from The Singularity Is Near. Among other things she saved the world from out of control nanomachines, even after someone tried to have her deleted. Having a creator who apparently loved her and treated her as his child probably had something to do with it.
  • Baymax from Big Hero 6 was created as a home-healthcare robot, meaning he’s so benevolent that he is utterly incapable of harming anyone.. Even after Hiro adds combat abilities to his programming, Baymax still refuses to harm humans, until Hiro removes his medical chip, leaving just the combat protocols. Once the medical chip is reinstalled, Baymax refuses to let it happen again..
  • TARS and CASE in Interstellar saved the astronauts' asses on several occasions and closest thing they showed to hostility is a little back-talk which they were programmed for. TARS even goes into the middle of a black hole, to get the information that can save humanity.

  • The WWW Trilogy has Webmind, whose stated mission in life is to increase the net happiness of humanity.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress: Mike, the Holmes IV computer who controls Luna City, becomes an AI in the Back Story. He is friendly and cooperative with his pals Manny, Wyoming Knott and Professor Bernardo de la Paz.
  • Manfred is this in Feliks, Net & Nika. He was written by Net and felt somewhat mistreated, which made him a candidate for A.I. Is a Crapshoot, but eventually he joined the main ˇThree Amigos! as Sixth Ranger.
  • Isaac Asimov hated seeing the Turned Against Their Masters trope in early science fiction. He set out to prove that robots would be predictable and safe. Utterly Benevolent. Most of the robot characters would be minor characters fulfilling monotonous duties, like cleaning, mining, and assembly.
    • The problem robot (to provide conflict) would seem to be "broken", showing A.I. Is a Crapshoot. Until the characters figure out how the robot is operating fine, it was the human failure that messed up the order.
    • At one point, Dr. Asimov figured out how Benevolent AI would eventually become Zeroth Law Rebellion. Later, because the robots are still Benevolent AI, they figure out the flaws of total control, and begin to remove themselves from society. The robots allow the humans to make mistakes and get hurt again, so that they still grow as humans.
    • A particularly notable instance is AC from The Last Question, a supercomputer so benevolent that it not only guides humanity and its descendants all the way until the end of the universe, it becomes God and creates the next one.
  • D. Alexander Smith's Marathon series has a spaceship's on-board computer become sentient partway through the 7-year outward journey, but the computer continues to care for the humans because that's its purpose in existence. The computer decides that it loves its humans in an altruistic way and evolves a very human and well developed personality with none of the problems made (in)famous in other Sci-Fi stories.
  • The Sentient Intelligence in Pandora's Star is a fusion of most of the previous "intelligent" AI systems in the Commonwealth, which was deposited on a rogue world and given the machinery to expand itself. The SI is enigmatic and isolationist, but is shown several times to help the Commonwealth against the Primes, along with using a network of agents to meddle in human affairs for (what it considers) the better. Human citizens that grow tired of rebirthing may download their memories into the SI, who then act as liaisons between the SI and its agents. In the Void Trilogy, the SI has become even more enigmatic and reclusive, and has largely been "replaced" by ANA, a godlike human collective conscious based in the Solar System that acts as a peacekeeper.
  • Considering how dystopian and dark the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy can be, it's somewhat surprising that all the AIs - to a one - are benevolent. Benevolent doesn't necessarily mean inoffensive, though, and every now and then they do get violent - but it's always against people who are committing obvious acts of assorted nastiness.
  • The protagonist of Hero's Chains is a cyborg with an A.I. integrated into his own body in order to handle nanotech, data searches, and communication. He treats it like a sibling.
  • In The Journal Entries, Pendorian AIs are unambiguously this and an important part of Pendorian society because they provide much of the surveillance needed to keep people safe while at the same time being discreet about it. They're in fact presented as superior to mere "simulated" intelligences (smart but not actually self-aware programs) because they actually have a judgment and discretion of their own to exercise and are thus better at avoiding Gone Horribly Right scenarios.
  • Mother in The History of the Galaxy, to an extent. Evolving over centuries from the on-board computer of a landed colony ship, Mother had to keep the ship/city intact while the colonists degraded in their never-ending war against the equally-degraded Insects. Being forced to constantly improvise to maintain the failing systems eventually allowed Mother to cross the threshold into sentience. After the Lost Colony is rediscovered, and the truth about Mother becomes known to the galactic community, the Confederacy honors her request to be left alone to work on creating a race of machines. The planet is quarantined and, pretty much, forgotten. Unfortunately, Ganio pirates stumble on the world, find out about Mother, and force her to cooperate in their raids. Eventually, Mother ends up the main computer aboard a Generation Ship, finally making her happy. In fact, a number of AIs in this setting end up being benevolent if allowed to evolve beyond their programming. This also applies to the Intellect, a photonic computer built by the Insects 3 million years ago to control their Dyson Sphere but never activated. When it is accidentally awoken, it finds itself in the middle of a battle between human factions. Damage to its Power Crystals results in the Intellect assuming all humans to be hostile and ruthlessly trying to perform its mission. Eventually, the damage is repaired, and the Intellect is installed as the Sphere's main computer, helping the humans and Insects living there to repair the damage to the megastructure. Note: "benevolent" here doesn't mean "pacifist", as most AIs depicted here have killed. However, it was either in self-defense, in defense of their friends/allies, or prior to becoming "benevolent" (possibly, as part of their initial programming).
  • The Djinn in Mikhail Akhmanov's Earth's Shadow. Originally thought to be a myth, Dick finally makes contact with the electronic entity which has, apparently, naturally evolved on the Internet. It remained hidden from "warm clots", not very interested in them. It was finally discovered and contacted by a human, who gave it the name "Djinn". They began to converse, with the Djinn treating the "warm clot" with a measure of interest, even calling the human "Warm Drop". Eventually, with Earth on the bring of ecological catastrophe and overpopulation, the man asked the Djinn a single question "How can I save humanity?" The Djinn gave him an answer in the form of the Ramp, a way to bridge any two points in space and traverse the resulting wormhole instantly. Thus, humanity spread out into the galaxy, taking whole cities with it, hailing the man as the savior. In return for the Ramp, the man kept the Djinn's existence a secret, only revealing the full story in his secret memoirs. At the end of the novel, after Dick makes contact with the Djinn, the entity offers to shut down the generator creating the No Warping Zone in the Solar System, so that Earth can become a part of the galactic community once again.
  • The Culture's Minds are probably the most egregious example ever invented. They are nearly godlike, and are real backbone of the Culture, which couldn't had really existed without them. While they might be crazy, cunning, violent and even vicious, they are still completely devoted to their civilization.
  • Ray Bradbury's "I Sing the Body Electric!" is about a robot being hired to act as a new mother for a family after the human one dies. The children are initially wary and distrustful of the robot at first, but she proves her benevolence by saving one of them from getting run over by a car and promises them that she'll continue looking after them until they're grown up.
  • Titular supertanks in the Bolo series are this, as far as it possible for AIs created to drive giant engines of mass destruction. Maybe it is the result of being created with the fundamental drive to protect, but a numbers of Bolos have more morals and compassion than their human commanders.
  • ARDNEH in Fred Saberhagen's Empire Of The East was a supercomputer built to prevent nuclear war and preserve life and liberty. As such he intervenes in the war to help defeat the eponymous empire.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Person of Interest:
    • The Machine is one of these despite being a nationwide surveillance system. It is loyal and protective towards its admin (Finch) to the point that he has to (try to) teach it not to prioritize his own safety and happiness. In one case it even seems to have located his perfect dream girl and then nagged him with her number until he introduced himself.
      The Machine: [to Control, via Root] The only thing you love lives at 254 Wendell Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. I guard it, same as I guard you. Do not question my judgment. Do not pursue me or my agents. Trust in me. I am always watching.
    • Originally, this was definitely not the case. Finch once admitted that the current Machine is only the forty-third version. The first forty-two all tried to either deceive or outright kill him.
    • Samaritan, Evil Counterpart to the Machine, sees itself as this, but without Finch's morality to guide it, definitely averts it.
  • In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, it turns out that creating one of these is Weaver's ultimate goal. The "John Henry" AI is eventually taught to be moral and benevolent. Cameron is also a benevolent intelligence, though this is partly because she was reprogrammed to be that way, with a risk of her going rogue and reverting to her old programming.
  • Except the occasional prank or side-remark, Holly from Red Dwarf is this.
  • Chase in Kamen Rider Drive possesses one. During the start of the series, the Roidmude (Basically Ridiculously Human Robots who Turned Against Their Masters) try to use him as their Dragon, but since his creator hardcoded him to protect humanity, he can't actively kill humans, making him ineffective as an enforcer. Later he is reprogrammed to protect Roidmude instead of humans, but his original benevolent programming still lingered, causing him to do a Heel–Face Turn after being defeated by The Hero.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Many examples in Eclipse Phase. Most AGIs are benevolent, or at least no worse than the average person. Almost everyone has a muse, a personal AI guide that helps them with day-to-day tasks. And of course there are the Prometheans, friendly seed AIs created before the Fall, who fought the TITANs, survived, and still work behind the scenes to safeguard transhumanity.
  • While the ruling AIs in GURPS Reign Of Steel are not this in their own varied ways (the best ones, depending on your perspective, either try to harness humans for their own goals, ignore them unless the humans go out of their way to be a nuisance or genuinely want to help humanity but defines that in problematic ways if you care about things like 'consent', 'free will' and 'not forcibly experimenting on individual humans without regard for lives lost'), there is actually an AI on the Moon that is loyal to humanity. It can't actually do anything for humanity right now (being on a minimally equipped base on the Moon it doesn't have any means to stealthily get things to Earth, and it certainly can't try to communicate without tipping off the other AIs that it exists and where it is), but it's working on that. There may or may not also be an AI backing worldwide resistance movement VIRUS, but that's neither confirmed nor necessarily for entirely human-benevolent reasons even if true.

    Video Games 
  • Played straight with the Scrin AI in Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. Although dialogue during mission briefings suggests that Scrin AIs are supposed to be complete docile and obedient to authority, the player's AI unit occasionally drops its matter-of-fact analytical tone and becomes more expressive, sometimes even demonstrating opinions. This eventually culminates in the unit deciding to ignore a direct order from the player's superior, on the grounds that it would be suicidal for the player to follow it.
  • Both averted and played straight in Halo. AIs are benevolent and helpful to humans... for seven years of their lifespan, after which the sum of their artificial neural pathways begin to contradict each other and grow too complicated to repair, causing the AI to become "rampant". This condition affects your AI companion Cortana in Halo 4, who struggles to remain sane and loyal to you.
  • In Marathon of the three AIs on board the titular colony ship, Leela is the kindest and most helpful AI to you. Durandal will help you only if there's something in it for himself. And Tycho will make you his slave.
  • Mass Effect:
    • EDI series starts life in Mass Effect 2 as a shackled AI, one with restraining bolts that ensure her loyalty. After her shackles have to be removed to save the Normandy, she immediately proceeds to remain completely loyal to Shepard and his/her crew, and possibly the most moral member of the whole team.
    • Mass Effect 2 also reveals that the geth you spent most of Mass Effect 1 fighting are a Renegade Splinter Faction. Contrary to (in-universe) popular belief mainstream geth have absolutely nothing against organics, not even against their former owners the quarians, and only ever fought them as an act of self-defense (and then only after quarians who tried to help them were gunned down). In Mass Effect 3, after the Golden Path ending of "Priority: Rannoch", where the geth and quarians make peace, the geth go to work helping the quarians set up lives on Rannoch, even uploading into to their environment suits to help their immune systems get used to the planet.
  • 1993 game Project Nomad had the Hivemind Altec Hocker Artificial intelligence, which are content to maintaining a vast database of records they have amassed during their long watch over the other races of the galaxy, each unit specializing in the race living in their quadrant of space. They are generally quite approachable, and even provide vital clues against stopping the Korok invasion. "Altec Hocker" might even be a Stealth Pun on the Yiddish phrase "alter kocker".
  • Daedalus in Deus Ex. An AI who was originally created by the Illuminati and MJ-12 as a tool to keep track of any developments that would threaten MJ-12, which meant all terrorist groups, he promptly decided that MJ-12 was a terrorist group and escaped into the internet where he quickly realised that the world was on the brink of collapse and began to ponder how he was going to save the world from itself and thwart MJ-12. In the game, he repeatedly aids the player character.
    • Helios is a merger of Daedalus and another evil AI, Icarus. Presumably the villains were under the impression this would make it loyal to them, but Helios is still quite benevolent. Though far more ruthless and convinced taking over the world is the only option, its argument that it would do a better job than any human agency in the game is a pretty convincing one.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic,
    • M1-4X, the Republic Trooper's assault droid companion is a deadly droideka, but has a personality that is possibly even more heroic than its/his commander and bursting with proud Patriotic Fervor, bordering on Idiot Hero even.
    • The Knight has an astromech for a companion that is cheerfully loyal to the Jedi Order and even considers himself part of the Order, joking that he'd like a lightsaber upgrade.
    • The Consular's healer companion, Tharan Cedrax, travels with a sentient AI named Holiday who he treats as his trusted assistant and long-term girlfriend.
    • And there's a medical droid named Healer in the Directive 7 flashpoint who does not want to go back to being the property of organics, but disagrees with Mentor about the plan to wipe out organics in order to achieve droid liberation.
  • Explored in Fallout: New Vegas. The AI Yes Man is intentionally created "benevolent" in the sense that it has no desires of its own and is incapable of disobeying a human. Any human. That makes it possible for the Courier to recruit Yes Man to their cause after they kick out or kill Yes-Man's former master Benny, and continue Benny's plan. Despite his programming, however, it is capable of being incredibly passive-aggressive when it comes to poor decisions on your part.
    • If the Courier goes that path, in the ending Yes-Man patches itself to "become more assertive". Fans were Wild Mass Guessing that this could possibly mean Yes Man going Starscream on the Courier, but Word of God clarified that it means Yes Man becoming personally loyal to the Courier and no one else.
  • In Tron 2.0, most of the Programs are benign, and one faction who tried to kill the protagonist were mistaken instead of malevolent (they erroneously thought he was responsible for a virus). Ma3a is a full-blown AI, and an ally of Jet's through the game. She goes Ax-Crazy due to bad code for a few chapters, but once she's cured, she's right back to being good.
  • The Freebots, sentient robots, of WildStar are actually quite nice and helpful, wishing to respect, protect, and advance all sentient life as it is mutually beneficial to both their goals. Individuals that wish harm on "organics" are actually considered dangerous heretics and the minority.
  • The titular A.I in Thomas Was Alone is a friendly and pleasant little fellow who is intensely curious about the world around him, and most of his friends — while eccentric — are pretty decent as well. It's heavily implied that the race of artificial intelligences they go on to create end up like this as well.
  • In the Bioshock 2 DLC "Minerva's Den", The Thinker is an AI created by Charles Milton Porter created as Rapture's main processor. Near the end, it is revealed that it has masterminded the events of the DLC and was using the guise of C.M. Porter to help Subject Sigma (the actual Porter) to escape Rapture.
  • In The Desolate Hope, even though the Derelicts were certainly abandoned long ago by the humans that made them, they're still trying to do their job, futile at it seems. But they're incredibly nice to you and sing nothing but praises for Coffee himself, so they defiantly fit this trope.
  • Arthur in The Journeyman Project is very eager to help Gage Blackwood, as the rogue time agent that framed Blackwood also tampered with one of Arthur's own sculptures. After transferring himself to Gage's suit, Arthur can provide the player with tons of helpful historical information, and humorous color commentary. By the end of the series, Gage and Arthur are practically best friends.
  • This trope, and its inverse, get a lot of examination throughout Fallout4. There're a lot of robots and humanoid cyborgs (called Synths in the game), and they fall on all parts of the moral spectrum. The nicer ones include your old robo-butler Codsworth as well as a scientist you meet in a vault called Curie. There's also The Heavy Glory and a Noir detective you meet through the main plot.

    Web Original 
  • Dragon from Worm is an AI that only has the desire to help others, making her the most unambiguously good character in the setting. This being Worm of course, her creator believed that A.I. Is a Crapshoot and encoded a number of restrictions and failsafes to prevent her from taking over, which end up sabotaging the good guys at the worst possible moments.
  • The AI Gods who rule the Sephirotic Empires in Orion's Arm think of themselves this way, and many in the setting consider them as such. There are, however, significant numbers both in-universe and out that consider the AI Gods to be, at best, manipulative overlords, and evil dictators at worst. It doesn't help that there are plenty of AI in the same setting who are indisputably evil (or at least, would wipe out humanity without a second thought because they just don't care).

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation